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Zero Fail : The Rise and Fall of the Secret…
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Zero Fail : The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service (edición 2021)

por Carol Leonnig

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1557142,595 (4.07)6
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Título:Zero Fail : The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service
Autores:Carol Leonnig
Info:New York : Random House, [2021]
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Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service por Carol Leonnig

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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
In my almost 70 years of life, the Secret Service has lost only one president to assassination and that was back in 1963. Reagan was shot in 1981 and survived. There are no tellings on how many assassination attempts were foiled by the Secret Service.

That being said, it appears, based on this book, that the Secret Service has been more lucky than good over the decades. It appears to have been mismanaged in almost every presidential administration. Inept and mediocre managers have been responsible for the direction of this critical area. Secret Service has been profoundly underfunded and their technology archaic at times. They have had difficulty in recruiting quality candidates because the burnout rate is so high due to their demanding schedules and commitments.

A number of scandals were cited in the book involving , sex, prostitution, drunkenness, drugs, discrimination etc. in certain circumstances, men of the Secret Service acted like “Animal House, than protectors of the president. The responsibilities of the Secret Service are way too high to allow a lack of professionalism.

This book is a long read but contains many interesting stories and anecdotes. Based on this book, it appears that the Secret Service preferred President Reagan, George H.Bush and even Donald Trump. There are also some interesting stories about the behaviors of presidents Kennedy and Clinton when it came to women.

This book is very well researched and well written… ( )
  writemoves | Oct 26, 2021 |
A very, very good book, immensely readable, that tells the history of the US Secret Service and the organization’s deterioration over the decades. It is unfortunate to read of the issues the organization has been having, but perhaps an expose such as this will prompt true reforms there, AND, the organization will be treated fairly in its budgeted funds from Congress, in view of the many new responsibilities it has ben expected to assume. ( )
  highlander6022 | Oct 22, 2021 |
Given the sheer amount of material that Carol Leonnig has to work with in Zero Fail, this is an impressively fast-paced look at the U.S. Secret Service from its origins right through to the present day. While the agency's motto is "Worthy of Trust and Confidence," Leonnig demonstrates that a combination of issues—from systemic incoherence to mismanagement, from mission creep to overwork to an obnoxious white male fratboy culture—mean that it's anything but. I finished this book surprised that no American president has been assassinated since JFK, and not surprised (but depressed) at how entrenched authoritarian sympathies are within the Secret Service. Leonnig doesn't go so far as to call for the whole institution to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, but I can't imagine what else could be done to salvage it. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 18, 2021 |
A convincing indictment of Secret Service incompetence and unprofessionalism, from JFK to today. I would have liked it to try to go deeper and ask why. Leonnig hints at a few reasons, ranging from the kinds of people who are attracted to this kind of job, to bureaucrats trying to maximize their budgets and post-retirement job opportunities, but this is more of a history than a critical analysis. Lots of good stories here were new to me.

> the deputy Republican counsel, Donald Sanders, asked why the wording in a report they received was so exact. He noted to Butterfield that it had verbatim quotes from the president and senior aides, from a specific meeting. “Were there ever any recording devices other than the Dictaphone system you mentioned?” Sanders asked. Butterfield had decided before walking in the door that he wasn’t going to lie to a direct question. “Yes,” he gulped

> growing up poor in Depression-era Miami, Parr got a special treat when his out-of-work dad took him to see the new B movie Code of the Secret Service. Parr was mesmerized by the central character, agent Brass Bancroft, a brave, dashing crime fighter who trotted the globe to chase down counterfeiters. A young actor named Ronald Reagan played the agent. Now, four decades later, the oddest of career trajectories had brought them together. That actor was a seventy-year-old politician and the new president of the United States. Parr was the fifty-year-old special agent in charge of the president’s security detail.

> [On 9/11] When Scott and Cheney reached the bottom of the stairs in a tunnel leading to the bunker, called the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, Scott still had one major problem. He couldn’t enter the shelter on his own authority. The military tightly guarded access to the PEOC, and unlike top presidential detail agents, many vice presidential agents hadn’t been given the S-keys to get inside.

> In 2008, Sullivan’s team finalized its strategic blueprint for spending over the next six years. The plan oddly listed investigating financial crimes as the Service’s top priority—ahead of protecting the president. Sullivan’s lieutenants wanted to protect lucrative turf. With the Service’s creation of several electronic crime task forces in the late 1990s, a steady stream of veteran agents had begun landing high-six-figure jobs on Wall Street.

> Agents had their own parody nickname for the First Lady’s detail, code-named FLD: the Fine Living and Dining crew.

> Grinning and slurring his words, the supervisor congratulated the brand-new baby agents working the detail on the perks of being a Secret Service agent. “You guys don’t know how lucky you are,” he told them. “You are going to fuck your way across the globe.” ( )
  breic | Jul 15, 2021 |
Many people think of the US Secret Service as an elite group of highly trained, efficient professionals. That is not the story that Carol Leonnig tells in ZERO FAIL.
The Secret Service’s initial responsibility was in the Treasury Department searching financial crimes. After the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, followed by those of James Garfield and William McKinley, the emphasis switched to protecting the President. Congress, however, gave the department a low priority and refused to provide sufficient funding to do its job.
After the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963, things began to change.
Many of the problems Leonning relates, based on hundreds of interviews with agents, government officials, and whistleblowers, were caused by the presidents themselves who did not like the restrictions placed on them. They didn’t like being closely shadowed constantly, partly because, as politicians, they liked getting close to their constituents. Nixon billed the agency for upgrades to his homes claiming they were needed for security.
Some of the presidents and their families treated the Secret Service members like family. Others, like servants, often because they didn’t trust them partly because some members, against the rules of being non-political, showed a preference for the other party. Members of the service were expected to protect the president and maintain silence about what they observed. When disgruntled, though, they were known to leak stories to the media.
Speaking of parties, the service became heavily filled by men who resented any outsiders (e.g., minorities, women, non-agency personnel) being involved. They would undermine anyone that wasn’t part of their club. Frequently, when away from DC to prepare for a Presidential visit, they would party late into the night and early morning, drinking excessively and bringing women, paid and unpaid, to their rooms. Many did that the night before John Kennedy was killed.
After the attempted assassination of George Wallace, who was running for his party’s nomination, the protection was widened to include viable candidates and, later, staff and family members. Congress did raise the amount of money budgeted to the department, but it was still severely understaffed and lacked up-to-date equipment to do a thorough job. People were able to get onto the grounds of the White House with one able to get inside and to the stairs leading to the family quarters before stopped.
Agents were forced to work extra-long hours and days, often having to wait months before being paid. That affected their families and caused frequent resignations. It got especially bad during the Trump administration when he added three dozen people to the list of those to be protected and he and his family spent a lot of time away from the White House. On many of those trips, the agents had to stay on his property, paying his company millions of dollars.
Hopefully, ZERO FAIL will serve as an incentive for Congress to provide the Secret Service the funds it needs to improve the agency through more modern, working equipment and to correct its internal failings. ( )
  Judiex | Jul 8, 2021 |
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